Daily Dispatches
Sign language interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie being interviewed at his home
Associated Press/Photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi
Sign language interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie being interviewed at his home

Midday Roundup: Signer claims mental collapse at Mandela memorial


Insanity defense. The man accused of faking sign interpretation at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service said Thursday he hallucinated that angels were entering the stadium, has schizophrenia, and has been violent in the past. Thamsanqa Jantjie said in a 45-minute interview with The Associated Press that his hallucinations began while he was interpreting and that he tried not to panic because there were “armed policemen around me.” He added that he was once hospitalized in a mental health facility for more than one year. The AP showed Jantjie video footage of him interpreting on stage at the Mandela memorial service. “I don’t remember any of this at all,” he said.

Awards season. Nominations for the 71st annual Golden Globes were announced this morning, with the movies 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle tied for the highest number of nominations at seven each. Also high on the list are Alexander Payne’s father-son road trip Nebraska, the space odyssey Gravity, and the Somali pirate thriller Captain Phillips. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will return to host this year’s ceremony on Jan. 12. Last year they led the broadcast to 19.7 million viewers, a significant bump for the Globes, which often serve as a preamble to the more prestigious Oscars, which will be held March 2.

Bus stop. Federal bus safety regulators have shut down 52 bus companies for safety violations including using drivers who had suspended licenses or drove more than 800 miles without rest. Some of the companies have transported school bands, Boy Scouts, or senior citizens, according to Anne S. Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The motor coach industry carries about 700 million passengers a year in the United States, roughly the same number as domestic airlines. In April, the agency began inspecting 250 motor coach companies with poor safety records. The investigation came partly in response to major crashes of carriers the agency had let continue operating despite dismal safety records. Ferro acknowledged that crashes in the mountains east of Los Angeles and in Oregon cited by the National Transportation Safety Board sounded a wake-up call for her agency. “We might not have been catching all the elements” that a more in-depth inspection could, she said.

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It’s criminal. India’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that only lawmakers could change a law that criminalizes homosexuality in the conservative country. The law dates back to the colonial era when Britain ruled India. It says that same-sex relations can be punished by up to 10 years in prison. Gay activists had hoped the Supreme Court would strike down the law as a violation of human rights, but instead the court passed the issue over to the legislature. Changes to the law could be a tough sell to lawmakers who represent conservatives and religious groups who say homosexuality threatens traditional Indian culture.

Lynde Langdon
Lynde Langdon

Lynde is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.


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